Last year, the Competitive Balance Lottery was a novelty, a mystery to many. The second annual version took place on Wednesday afternoon, and there's no question all teams involved see the value in potentially adding picks to their stockpile for the 2014 Draft.
A total of 14 teams were eligible for lottery picks in both Rounds A and B this year, with their odds of nabbing the first selection in the Competitive Balance Round A based on their winning percentages from 2012. As a result, the Colorado Rockies had the best odds at receiving that selection, currently No. 32, with a 17 percent chance. Those odds came in, as Colorado was awarded the top pick in the lottery.
"It's always a big lift to get an extra pick," said Rockies representative Julian Valentin. "We're a draft-and-develop type of organization. So the more picks we can get, the better, especially when we come out with the top one that was available."
The Cleveland Indians (13.9 percent), Miami Marlins (13.2) and Kansas City Royals (11.2) had the next-best odds. Cleveland ended up with the third selection, behind the Baltimore Orioles, with the Marlins and Royals falling in behind the Indians. The Milwaukee Brewers nabbed the final pick in Round A.
Below are the results of the Competitive Balance Lottery, which establishes the order for Comp Rounds A and B in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.
The other eligible teams in Round A, in order of percentage chance of getting the top pick, were: San Diego, Pittsburgh, Arizona, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Oakland and Cincinnati. The Seattle Mariners were eligible for participating in Competitive Balance Round B only.
The Padres got the first pick in Round B, followed by the Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Rays Pirates and Mariners.
The 10 smallest-market teams and the 10 lowest-revenue teams were placed in the lottery to have a chance to win one of these six extra picks in 2014. There aren't 20 teams in the lottery because there's plenty of crossover between the two lists.
The second group of six picks come after the conclusion of the second round. The teams from the first group that did not get one of the early picks were re-entered, along with any other Major League team that receives any revenue sharing. For this year, that was the Mariners.
Competitive Balance Lottery picks can be traded, marking the first time Draft picks of any sort have been made available for trades. Teams from last year took advantage of that rule, with two trades involving picks taking place. The Miami Marlins were involved in both. They traded lottery picks with the Tigers, giving up what ended up being pick No. 39 and receiving pick No. 73. They also added the Pirates' pick, No. 35, when they sent Gaby Sanchez to Pittsburgh at the Deadline.
"It opens up some other avenues we didn't have before," Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek said. "We traded a player for a pick, we felt it added value to us. We realize the value of high picks. We're always trying to add depth to our system. It's a new wrinkle that we like."
Meek is still high on the lottery despite not being able to come to terms with the player, lefty Matt Krook, the Marlins selected with the No. 35 pick. Miami does get a compensation pick as a result, which will come at No. 36 in 2014. But the Marlins aren't the only team that took advantage of the extra picks.
2013 competitive balance lottery picks
Players who were taken with Competitive Balance Lottery picks in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft:
Competitive Balance Round A
Competitive Balance Round B
The Indians forfeited their Comp B pick (No. 69 overall) when they signed free agent Michael Bourn.
The Royals used the first pick in Competitive Balance Round A, No. 34 overall, to select Indiana State lefty Sean Manaea. Manaea was thought to be the top college lefty in the Draft class, but saw his stock drop due to injury concerns. The Royals took advantage of the extra pick and selected Manaea. After saving money with their top pick Hunter Dozier, they were able to sign Manaea for $3.55 million, more than $1.9 million above pick value.
"If you speak to clubs, what you'll hear is that the Competitive Balance Lottery picks turned out to be more valuable to clubs than even the clubs or we thought when we negotiated the agreement with the union," said Daniel Halem, Major League Baseball's senior vice president. "And that's a positive given the purpose of the picks, obviously."
Krook was the only player taken in the two Competitive Balance rounds not to sign, meaning teams added 10 prospects to their respective systems. There were 11 total picks in 2013, with the Indians forfeiting their selection after signing free agent Michael Bourn. Seven of the 11 were college players, and just one of those seven, third baseman Chad Pinder taken by the A's at pick No. 71, is a position player.
"Any time you get an extra pick high in the Draft, there's a tremendous value," Meek said. "The way it's set up, teams that are at a little bit of a disadvantage, it's a shot to improve your system. One player can make your Draft, so if you can get an extra player high in the Draft, it's valuable."